Despite ‘termination’ NRG confirms: Still weapons-grade uranium in Dutch nuclear reactor

Despite its triumphant press release of the contrary, two years ago, NRG, the operator of the High Flux Reactor in the Netherlands, this week confirmed Laka’s suspicion that NRG is still using weapons-grade highly enriched uranium in its reactor. Therefore, the Netherlands is currently in breach of its agreement with Obama, reached at the Nuclear Security Summit in the Hague in 2014, to cease the use of weapons-prone highly enriched uranium for civil medical use.

Early 2018, NRG, the operator of the High Flux Reactor (HFR), sent out a press release, asserting that the Netherlands has complied with the deal, struck in 2014 with Barack Obama, by converting for the production of Molybdenum, an important medical isotope, from the use of High Enriched Uranium (HEU) to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).

This week it turns out that in 2018 only Curium, one of the customers of NRG, had converted from HEU to LEU. IRE, another customer of NRG, is still not ready for the conversion. IRE is still regularly shipping HEU-targets to Petten to have them irradiated in the HFR.
Confronted by journalists with the findings of Laka, NRG confirms to NRC Handelsblad that it has indeed not ceased to irradiate HEU.

Dirk Bannink, spokesperson for Laka, commented: "Unbelievable that NRG made the bold statement that the Netherlands has ceased using HEU while that never really was the case. This sheds a dim light on other bold assertions of NRG, for example, that funders would be interested in the Pallas reactor, the, by NRG, much aspired successor of the HFR."

For further information, see the original Dutch article.

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